The Point

The Point

The Point

New Law Requires Gender Neutral Restrooms in Public Schools by 2026

(Graphic by Valerie Villegas)

On Sept. 23, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law requiring K-12 public schools to accommodate all students by installing gender neutral bathrooms alongside gendered restrooms by July 2026. 

Senate Bill 760 was passed in order to promote inclusivity in California public schools as the state has seen that “transgender and nonbinary young people reported lower rates of attempting suicide when…they had access to a gender-neutral bathroom at school,” according to the Trevor Project.

In the past years, California has passed bills working towards acknowledging and fostering diversity on campuses. 

A frequently overlooked struggle experienced by many LGBTQ+ and transgender students is finding an appropriate restroom to use at school as some students don’t identify within the gender binary, making the decision of which restroom to use confusing.

Story continues below advertisement

The focus of these restrooms is to provide standard necessities to students of all gender identities. 

“Gender neutral restrooms are extremely important for the safety of [transgender] or non-binary kids, or people who don’t feel comfortable using the other restrooms,” GSA co-president Ryan Um, senior, said. 

Having access to a bathroom during the school day is necessary for students. In a routine school day; a student with six class periods can expect to be on campus for eight hours, excluding extracurricular activities. 

“A child may not feel safe going into [packed restrooms] and so what, they hold it all day? That’s not okay either. That causes medical issues if you’re holding it all day,” Human Rights Coalition advisor and social science Christina Varela expressed. 

“Everybody is welcomed here…and deserves a restroom option that makes them feel comfortable and safe,” she said.

On campus, the nurse’s office has a gender-neutral restroom that is open to all students, but it is not always accessible as it is on one end of the campus and is not open after school hours. 

“[Gender-neutral restrooms will] give more students …the resources that they need and have a more welcoming atmosphere,” junior Abby Cheung said. 

About the Contributor
Valerie Villegas, Reporter